Who Fishes for Alligator Gar in Texas?

To date, research by the TPWD has focused on understanding how long alligator gar live, how fast they grow, and how often they successfully reproduce, as well as how healthy our populations currently are. Gathering this information was necessary in order to determine how populations are reacting to current fishing pressures, and to predict how they will respond in the future.

While we have learned a great deal about the fish, we needed to know more about the anglers. Data from statewide surveys have suggested that about 100,000 anglers fish for gar in Texas each year. These include rod-and-reel anglers, bow fishers, jugliners, and trotliners. Our alligator gar fisheries also support a thriving guide industry, serving clients from all over the world. In 2018, TPWD conducted a voluntary online survey of people interested in the management and conservation of alligator gar in Texas. The goal was to gain a better understanding of who our constituents are, how our anglers like to fish, their harvest practices, and how they would like to see alligator gar managed in the future.

The web-based survey attracted almost 13,000 people, with 8,600 providing some level of response. Here are some highlights:

Our management goal is to sustain our unique alligator gar fisheries for future generations of Texans. Information gained through the survey, coupled with our understanding of population biology and ecology, will be used to make future management decisions.